Retailing is the Submission of all activities that result in the difference of sales of goods and for services to individual and for organization for the purpose of ultimate consumption. A retailer is business firm whose predominant function is retailing.
In other words, retailing refers to the business of laying goods from variety of resources and assembling those goods in convenient location for resale to consumers.
Retailers considered product quality, variety and pricing their main concerns. On the other side, consumers demand product information and safety. For fashion retailers of the future, success will depend on their ability to anticipate and adapt to never ending changes.
Fashion retailing is emerging as one of the most challenging areas of business activity in the western world. Uncertainties in demand, shrinking selling season, lengthening delivery lead times, increased competition and thing margins together make the job of the retailer truly daunting.
Typically, the demand for fashion goods develops the course of a limited fashion season in the shape of a bell-shaped curve representing the beginning, growth, and peaking and decline phase of the fashion life cycle. The demand at each price in each period of the season is uncertain and the uncertainty of the demand to price varies during the season is uncertain and the sensitivity of demand to price varies during the season. Goods left over at the end of the fashion season fall drastically in value because demands disappear when the fashion season is over.
Retail buyers do this balancing intuitively based on experience and “GUT FEEL”. Clearly, intuition alone is not adequate to deal with the inherent complexity of the fashion retailing business. Decision making on critical issues such as procurement and mark down management needs to become a lot more scientific in order to thrive in this demanding environment.
- Fashion and retailing are not interrelated.
- It is an upcoming industry.
- It offers tremendous job opportunities.
COMPOSITION OF FASHION INDUSTRY
The fashion business is composed of numerous industries all working to keep consumers of fashion satisfied. A special relationship exits among these industries that makes the fashion business different from other businesses. The four different levels of the fashion business are known as the primary level, the secondary level, the retail level and the auxiliary level are composed of separate entities but, they also work independently to provide the market with fashion merchandise that will satisfy consumers.
THE PRIMARY LEVEL
The primary level is composed of the growers and producers of the raw materials of fashion – the fabric, the fiber, the leather and the fur producers who function in the raw material market. It is the level of the fashion business that works the farthest in advance of the ultimate selling period of the goods. Up to two years of lead-time is needed by primary level companies before the goodwill be available to the consumer.
THE SECONDARY LEVEL
The secondary level is composed of industries manufacturers and contractors –that produce the semi finished or finished fashion goods from the materials produced on the primary level. On the secondary level the manufacturers of women’s, men’s and children’s apparel and accessories. Secondary level companies work from one and a half year to 6 months based ahead of the time goods are available for the consumers.
THE RETAIL LEVEL
The retail level is the ultimate distribution level. On this level there are different type of retailer who buy their goods from the secondary level and then supply them directly to the consumers. In many cases, the retail levels works with both the primary and the secondary levels to ensure a co-coordinated approach to consumer wants. Retailers make initial purchases for resale to customers from 3 to 6 months before the customer-buying season.
THE AUXILARY LEVEL
The auxiliary level is the only level that functions with all the other level simultaneously. This level is composed of all the support services that are working with primary producers, secondary manufacturers and retailers in order to keep consumers aware of the fashion merchandise produced for ultimate consumption. On this level are all the advertising media – print, audio and visual and fashion consultants and researchers.
The factors responsible for effective retailing are as follows: –
- Consumerism: –One of the fastest growing aspects of the American business world today is consumerism, which means the efforts of consumer to protect their own interest. Consumer affairs offices are part of the federal government, state government and most city governments across the country. New consumer protection regulations are being added at state as well as federal levels, and the interpretations and implementation of these laws is an ever increasing responsible of business as well as government.
Retailers who ever slow to support the consumer protection laws in earlier days have now increased their education of both buyers and sellers. One of retail chain has its slogan –“An educated consumer is our best customer”. The beneficial effects of consumerism on retailing can be tremendous. Being able to fill customers wants without disappointments in performance and quality of service must surely be the desired goal of retailing.
- Organizational Flexibility: –Retail fashion distributors face a great challenge in the next two decades the challenge of monitoring the demographic shifts of consumers and their changing merchandise preferences.
Retailers need to rethink and reevaluate merchandising decision made in the sixties and seventies and update their marketing strategies for new target markets. Retailer will need to use better planning methods and lighter inventory and expense control in the coming year if they are to survive and grow their professional management structures.
Increased Competition: –Growing chains, specialized retailers and the increased sophistication of shoppers have made competition